How to Prevent Ingrown Toenails

Got your first ingrown toenail? Have a reoccurring ingrown toenail? Make this your last one! Although ingrown toenails are common, especially big toe ingrown toenails, there are easy ways to prevent this painful and annoying occurrence.
Easy Ways to Prevent an Ingrown Toenail
  1. Wear the right shoes. Shoes that are tight, heeled, or pointed at the toes can pinch the toes together and cause the toes to push into the shoe itself. This doesn’t allow the room your toes need. Give your toes plenty of wiggle room!
  2. Learn how to cut and trim your nails. Toenails should be cut straight across rather than rounded at the edges. This allow your toenails to grow away from the skin rather than into it.
  3. Treat the first sign of an ingrown nail immediately. You may have a very early sign that an ingrown toenail is happening. If so, time is critical to apply some easy treatments that can correct this early and quickly.
  4. See a podiatrist. If you have been unsuccessful using these techniques to prevent an ingrown toenail, it may be that the shape or thickness of your toenail simply predisposes you to recurring ingrown nails. If so, a podiatrist can determine the best solution for you, helping end recurring ingrown toenails.
Easy Treatments at the First Sign of an Ingrown Toenail
  1. Stop wearing tight, heeled, or pointed shoes. Instead, immediately switch to wearing shoes that allow your toes to wiggle, or open-toed shoes.
  2. Soak those toes. Doing a daily foot soak of warm soapy water, or a mixture of water and apple cider vinegar will keep the area clean and free of bacteria. This will also help to loosen the skin around the toes, allowing your nail a bit more space.
  3. Keep your toes clean and dry. Clean, dry toes eliminate an increased concern of infection from bacterial growth.
  4. Apply essential oils. Essential oils such as tea tree have antiseptic properties, helping to prevent bacteria and infection. Eucalyptus oil is anti-inflammatory, helping to lessen the pressure between the nail and the skin around it.
  5. See a podiatrist. If you are past the first sign of an ingrown toenail, or if you tried these at-home ingrown toenail treatments for a couple of days and have not seen improvement, it’s time to see a podiatrist. Time is critical, so getting an effective treatment as quickly as possible is important before the ingrown toenail moves from mild to moderate or severe. Podiatrists treat ingrown toenails often and can determine the best solution for you.
Preventing an ingrown toenail is, of course, the easiest and best course of action! Take care of those toes before an ingrown toenail becomes a painful and annoying occurrence you’ll have to treat.
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